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Back to school hair

School is back in session for all of the little ones in our lives. From increased traffic to an earlier bed time and let’s not forget our hair. Often we have less time to devote to our biweekly co-washes and trims, so here are some easy tips for maintaining healthy hair with less time.

My daughter Amira on her way to school

  1. Protective styles are your friend. Not only do they save time while getting ready on the daily basis but they also keep your hair from being damaged on the ends especially.
  2. Devote a day to hair care.  This should be done at least weekly to ensure that your hair gets the time and energy it needs
  3. Maintain a healthy diet and drink water. Not only is this good for your body but it will benefit your hair giving it the nutrients that it needs.
  4. Let your hair breathe! Some days it’s good to let your hair down. Keep it free from clips, headbands and ponytail holders!

We are wishing all of our Sofn’free n’pretty girls a fabulous school year!

Natural hair terms you should know!

Being natural has become a way of life for some and there is terminology that we all need to know (as if keeping up with products and technique wasn’t hard enough)! So here is a short and sweet lesson to expand your natural hair vocabulary.

TWA – Teenie Weenie Afro

BSL – Bra Strap Length

Transitioning – The period of time since your last relaxer

BC – Big Chop (cutting off all of your relaxer)

Co-Wash – Skipping shampoo and cleaning  your hair with conditioner.

EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

These are just a few of my favorite and most used terms. Hopefully this helps some of you ladies who are NN (Newly Natural) or thinking about going natural!!

Naturally Judged?

There are a few things about me that are not secrets; I am natural, I straighten my hair and I don’t care. Although I never considered the fact that straightening my hair makes me less natural, I found out after a trip to the beauty salon it does! At least to some people.

Living in Atlanta has its pros and cons. The largest con if you a woman with natural hair is the humidity. Some days upon stepping outside I can feel my hair swell up. If you are natural you know the  feeling. You immediately know that whatever ”look” you perfected in your bathroom mirror is no longer cute.

Being that this is my second natural summer, I had a game plan. I got a sew-in! Which in fact saved my look and hair. I only have a small part of my hair out and the virgin hair doesn’t go crazy when I step outside. After a recent trip to the hair salon to get my extensions washed and straightened, I ran into an old natural hair friend.  The first thing she says to me is, “Oh so you aren’t natural anymore?” I was shocked – I told her I was. She proceeded to tell me that if I wanted to wear my hair straight, I should have kept my relaxer.

So ladies I ask you this, where is the “So you want to be NATURAL” rule book? Why am I less natural because I can appreciate a good straightening from time to time? Why does everything have to be a competition? We need to support each other on this natural hair journey. My hair is just as healthy as the next naturalista and I like to be versatile. So I said it before and I will say it again.

There are a few things about me that are not secrets; I am natural, I straighten my hair and I don’t care.

Superwoman finds her swag

There is a constant battle to between being fit, looking good and having fun. Being fit makes you look good and sometimes having fun is not the most ideal way to look good.

They say you are supposed to drink half your body weight in water. This is already a lot for someone who likes her water in ice cubes only.  Working out is cool, but then my hair is another battle. What about the days when I am too tired? Between working and being a mother who has time for themselves?  Other than super woman of course.

“If it is important you will make time, if it is not you will make excuses.”

After a million excuses and a little whining I walked into the gym and the trainer told me a quote.  “If it is important you will make time, if it is not you will make excuses.”  I decided that it is time out for excuses. After that day at the gym, I made a note with that faithful quote and stuck it to my bathroom mirror. Now every other evening as the sun is going down I run the 3 flights of stairs that are in my building. Up and down 20 times. Typically I am drenched in sweat and barely able to walk.  I drink my water in an oversized water bottle and I let my daughter take her chalk and draw pictures while she waits on me.

My summertime swag is fully activated and I realized that I am in fact super woman.  Cheers to a little Mommy Motivation!

My Natural Offspring!

Salathiel.jpg

Salathiel and her beautiful daughter attended and modeled in the Natural hair show. Between them is Vlogger Naturalchic Nikki

After attending the natural hair show in Atlanta, GA last weekend, I fell in love with our youth. There were many adults who were there and natural, but the little girls who were so comfortable with their curls were the ones who caught my eye.  I grew up in the relaxed, straight hair era, where having a fresh perm was golden.  Afros were reserved for older women who no longer wanted to maintain their hair.

The natural hair show was almost like a secret club, little girls and their mamas, with coils, kinks and curls. They were confident and free. The little girls I saw longed for the beautiful healthy hair of the elders all around.  Then it hit me, little girls are truly products of their environment. They associate beauty with their mothers and other women around them. At the natural hair show babies, girls and women all were beautiful. Not by magazine standards but by the standards of their community.  It takes a village to raise a child! The village that was the “Natural Hair Show”  was one that I am glad my daughter is a part of.

To relax your daughter’s hair, or not?

Jada after her hair was straightened, before her recital.

I am a firm believer that you never miss what you don’t have, which is the main reason I decided I would never relax my daughter Jada’s hair. Her curls are beautiful, natural – and most importantly virgin. She has never had a relaxer and her hair has only been straightened a handful of times. However sometimes it is difficult to explain to others that her hair doesn’t need to be straightened, chemically or otherwise!

The first time Jada got her hair straightened was for her recital when she was only 3 years old. It was mandatory for her to wear her hair, half up and half down.(How unfair). We were only one of 5 african american families in her dance studio, so only few felt our pain. The five mothers all complained about the style but nothing changed. Why the standard bun wasn’t used is beyond me. All I know is that I spent 2 hours washing, combing an flat ironing my baby’s hair. All to appease a group of people that I pay to help me.The irony.

Back to the curls for Jada!

After it was all said and done, Jada’s hair was in the correct style and she turned and looked in the mirror in horror. She wanted her “puffy” hair back. She didn’t like the straight her and I was relieved yet horrified. What did I do to my child and why didn’t I stand my ground? Will she always want it straight? Will she not be able to dance? My mind raced and she made it through the entire dance number. After that moment, I decided that it is never neccesary or appropriate to feel forced into changing her hair texture. Now she is 6 years old, she rocks the “afro puffs” and sometimes a ”twist out”. We only straighten for an occasional length check. She appreciates her hair, one more year and she will be the age I was when I recieved my first relaxer. I am determined not to repeat the chemical cycle.

Meet Miesha!

I am your stereotypical mid-twenties black woman! Basically, I’m trying to figure out what I want out of life, love – and most importantly, my HAIR. Who knew it would be so hard to find a style, length and color to commit to? I guess I have commitment issues.

To know me is to know my hair story. I was naturalista in the early phases; you know, getting my hair straightened in front of the stove only on Easter and School Picture day. Many a time, I took my pictures with a few burns on my ears. At the age of seven, my “best friend” got a relaxer and I wanted one too. All was fine and dandy for a year, until my mom was comfortable enough to drop me off to get the infamous chemical straightener. Without her supervision, the hairstylist left the relaxer on too long. I ended up edgeless.

Most of my 5th and 6th grade career was spent trying to revamp my hair. I did box braids, micro braids, cornrows and many other styles (all while still receiving relaxers). Eventually my hair grew back to a length that I could accept. I never stopped getting relaxers: I went to college with a relaxer, got relaxers throughout my pregnancy and until my daughter was 5 years old I continued to get relaxers.

The downside was that I was not convinced I needed a hair stylist. After all, it was a hair stylist that aided in the demise of my gorgeous locks. Home relaxers were my best friends, until one day in 2011 when I went to get a trim and the stylist cut all my hair off. I was devastated. I had an event coming up the next week, so I resorted to a sew in (my very first one of course). After I removed that, I remained relaxer free and continued cutting until the relaxer was gone. However, I still straighten my hair bi-weekly. I workout and have to straighten or be forced to wear the dreaded ponytail.

Now, even after all the hard work of transitioning, I want my chemicals BACK. How is that for lack of commitment? A year in and I am ready to feel the slight tingle that you receive when the relaxer has worked. My thoughts are if you are natural, own it; if you are relaxed, own it. Taking care of your hair doesn’t mean you are relaxed or natural. How I wear my hair doesn’t define me, although it does have the ability to alter my mood. What is more exciting than my story, is going on this journey with you all. Hopefully you can help me decide where this love affair will end.